Recently, I read a link to an old blog post about "Being Poor." Having been poor throughout several points in my infancy, childhood, and adulthood, I'd like to add to the list. (Note, any that apply to childcare issues were in infancy and childhood. I've never been that level of poor since I married, thank G-d.)
Being poor is not getting your own room–or your own bed–until the age of 9. And you’re an only child.
Being poor is having your bedroom and kitchen in the same small room.
Being poor is considering taking the bus to work because your car is about to die–and payday is three days away.
Being poor is putting diapers on the bottom rack of the cart and hoping the clerk won’t notice.
Being poor is buying formula for the baby, and using the leftover money to buy food for yourself.
Being poor is living in illegal, substandard housing, and renting from strange people, because the utilities are included.
Being poor is not having furniture.
Being poor is going for years on the “please, G-d, don’t let me get
sick” health insurance plan. (Translation: no health insurance)
Being poor is repairing a stranger’s backpack in exchange for a meal–and praying he doesn’t think it’s a date.
Being poor is driving very, very carefully because you don’t want a ticket or an accident–because you have no insurance.
Being poor is thinking that second bedrooms, washers, dryers, working
vehicles, telephones, and televisions are luxuries that only the wealthy
Being poor is cutting the pictures out of a toy catalog and playing with
them. You already know without asking that your parents can’t afford
what you want.
Being poor is convincing yourself that wearing outdated clothing
(including Mom’s hand-me-downs) is evidence of a strong character.
Being poor is taking the bus home from late-night classes through the seediest parts of town.
Being poor is sleeping on the floor.
Being poor is having to get up at 5: 30 so you can take your kid to daycare before work. But since the daycare and the office are at opposite ends of town, you spend hours running around on buses with a half-asleep toddler in tow.